We may have milk, but apparently we do not have water. According to a recent study discussed on NPR that was done by Harvard scientists and recently published in the “American Journal of Public Health” most kids and teenagers do not drink enough water. In fact, the study titled ‘Prevalence of Inadequate Hydration Among US Children and Disparities by Gender and Race/Ethnicity: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2012‘ found that one-quarter of children in the study, age 6-19 did not report to drink any water at all as part of their fluid intake. In essence, those who reported some water consumption, were also found to be drinking very inadequate amounts.
Initially, the researchers were looking at sugary drink consumption and found these dramatic, paltry water consumption findings. However, after further review of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers found that more than half of the several thousand students studied between 2009 and 2012 were at least slightly dehydrated.
Is this a big deal? The study discussed how even mild dehydration can affect children’s fatigue levels, mood, and possibly their ability to learn. After all, water and not purple energy drinks, keep us best hydrated. It regulates the body’s temperature; fights toxins; keeps are joints and muscles lubricated; helps build muscles, burn fat, keep us energized; and can aid in weight loss. It also keeps skin hydrated and supple. The Institute of Medicine states that children and teenager should consume about two to three quarts of water a day, depending on age, size, and sex. To meet our daily intake needs, it can come from the tap, but also soups, fruits, and vegetables. Basil and cucumber can flavor it nicely. –So can lemon. As parents, we can do more to make it the choice, over other choices, by making it a prominent choice of drink for our families. That Brita pitcher in the fridge can overtake soda’s place. Or, how about some “juicy water,” where juice is diluted by water? While we may have every other drinks it is important that we have the most important one:
W A T E R and make it easily available at school and home It really is that important!!
Today held one of those endearing moments that often happen between a parent and a five-year old child. It started with us missing the bus this morning despite being at the end of the driveway at the right time. Lately the bus has been coming earlier so as 8 minutes passed I figured I’d go inside and call the bus garage to make sure I was correct.
For safety I had my daughter come halfway back on the drive. As I was calling she went on the lawn and was exploring the animal tracks in the snow. She is now able to identify rabbit tracks, so after I verified we did indeed miss the bus she told me there were loads of tracks on our yard. I told her that was cool and that we had to leave quick.
We got in the van and drove to school. It was a nice brisk, sunny morning brightened by the snow. We have a general rule that there is no video and only low radio for drives to and from school. This allows us to talk. It has taken about a year and a half for some great dialogue to occur but now it has and it is excellent! Perhaps another day I’ll share the story of the bull on the road. We talked about what her day was going to look like and then I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew-up. She thought for a moment and said ‘I want to be a Mom. A Mom that works at an amusement park and brings her kids to work’. Chuckling inside I told her that sounded like a great career.
But that is not the really funny part of this story. That happens when we arrive and we are walking into school. As we are about to enter the school I see that she is holding and looking at something in her right hand. I though it was something but hoped it wasn’t what I though…so I asked her ‘Elisabeth what is that you are holding in your hand?’ she says ‘rabbit poop’. Holding a straight face I asked her where she got it from and she said her pocket. I said when did you put it in your pocket and she says ‘this morning’ and adds ‘there was lots of it’. I said you have to toss that before we enter the school and then wash your hands because it is dirty. She did this with no problem but did state that the rabbit poop was just solid grass.
As I was waiting outside the bathroom another parent came by and I told her the story and we both laughed. The amazing part to me was that she knew what it was. I probably told her what it was two years ago at a visit to zoo or science museum, but if so it is remarkable that she remembered! It would also be amazing if she had deducted that the ‘poop’ she had held in her hand was from a rabbit.
After school we had fun telling Mommy about this. We also discussed why you had to be careful in picking up any animal poop without proper training and the possible diseases or viruses it may carry.Another great learning opportunity with the benefit of a laugh for us.
Thanks for making our day Elisabeth!
So as it was getting la
One of the great things about the internet is that it becomes a community where ideas can be shared. This morning, while doing my morning blog perusal, I happened upon this great idea that fits perfectly with the kids in summer theme we have going on. The author of the post claims that she was tired of her kids asking for a drink multiple times a day in the summer only to take out a new cup each time. This great idea cuts down on the amount of dishes that will have to be done and will encourage your kids to drink more water.
So what did the author do? She put her cups on the fridge. She bought light-weight plastic cups (or you can use cups your family already has), and attached magnets using hot-glue. Voila! The one thing that the post doesn’t mention is writing names on the cups. In my family, where my brother and I unfortunately shared a toothbrush for a few weeks due to lack of communication, we would definitely need to write the names on the cups.
The whole process is incredibly easy. Rather than washing a ton of cups every day, you only have to wash a few. Furthermore, if the cups are just used for water, a quick rinse will do throughout the day, so it will only be one wash at the end of the night. Check out the original blog entry for detailed instructions and pictures (personally, I think the fridge cup magnets look rather charming).
What are some other time-saving tips you have for parents in the summer?
My mom frequently says that she wants to live on the water. She thinks that living on a lake, an ocean, or even a pond would somehow change her outlook on life and make her officially happy. Of course, the home she has nearly paid off is situated in a decidedly non-aquatic area. One of the things I must have learned from my mom is this idea that setting can make you happy. My first college tour was at a university 2 1/2 hours away from home, and while the school may have had a great academic reputation and was near a lake and had a great college town just down the street, something about the ugly concrete buildings was unappealing. I decided against the school based primarily on architecture.
My next college tour, however, went much better. The school, with its ivy-covered brick buildings and lakefront view, was beautiful. My freshman dorm even looked out over the lake, and the sunsets were incredible. The setting could not have been better, and yet I wasn’t constantly inspired by the beauty around me. Along with my friends, I bemoaned the small campus size and the lack of things to do, and I am ashamed to admit that I only swam in that beautiful lake a handful of times. In fact, weeks would go by where I barely even noticed the lake. It may be surprising, then, to hear that for my graduate school, I picked again based mostly on location. This time, my school wasn’t just on a lake–it was near the ocean. The apartment where I currently sit typing this blog entry is only a five-minute drive from the Atlantic, and my bus goes past an ocean inlet every morning and night. I live in a vacation destination, a place where cruise ships frequently stop, and yet I often ignore my surroundings and bemoan my homesickness and the lack of things to do.
The point is, the way my surroundings look seem to have very little to do with my level of happiness or contentment. Attitude is a choice that you have to make each day, and while nice surroundings might help nudge you towards a positive experience, it is by no means a guarantee.